Rhetorical Analysis of an Apple iPhone Maps app argument – weak argument

With all the blogs and news sites posting arguments about the new iPhone Maps app, I thought it would be interesting to analyze the same claim as my previous rhetorical analysis to demonstrate how a strong or weak argument is not dependent solely on a strong claim.


What is the claim?

  • Apple’s new maps suck compared to Google Maps

The colloquial intransitive verb use aside, the claim is clearly stated.

What reasons support the claim?

  • There’s entire websites dedicated to it
  • Finding venues is hard, directions are wonky, and search is lacking

The reasons are weak because, for one, “entire websites” doesn’t even make sense. As to imply that not a part of website is dedicated but an “entire” one makes the reason stronger? Additionally, the “entire website” that is referred to is a Tumblr page, which barely qualifies as a “website” in itself. Stronger evidence would have cited websites such as wired, gizmodo, cnet, macinsider, and other respected technology-oriented websites. If the entire gizmodo website was dedicated to this, that would be a very compelling reason.

What evidence supports the reasons?

  • “There’s entire websites dedicated to it” links to http://theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com/
  • Circumstantial evidence from what appears to be personal opinion
  • Reference to a popular person who is a strong advocate who doesn’t like the new map

The evidence is purely qualitative and only evaluates the Apple map—there is no contrast with Google Maps which doesn’t allow for a fair comparison. Of course, most people are relatively aware of the high quality of Google Maps but not every feature can “suck” worse compared to Google Maps—we can assume the author means this as a hyperbole but this argument would benefit from providing even a cursory list of the comparable features that Google Maps outperforms Apple on. The readers of the argument could then decide if the features that do “suck” comparatively justify a claim that makes a seemingly implied narrow claim some features suck compared to Google Maps and applies it to the entire app. This is important because what people use maps for are usually quite different and what the author values in a mapping app may differ from a reader and they both would probably weight a feature’s significance to an overall “suck” rating differently.

Alternatives/complications/objections, and responds how?

  • In the past, Apple was known as the company who would go above and beyond for the sake of consumers. They didn’t include LTE in the iPhone until this year because LTE support wasn’t wide spread, and because battery life took a hit.

The author provides an unqualified statement that Apple has been a good company in the past. This establishes (attempts to) that the author is not biased against Apple and that the conclusions drawn are based solely on the reasons and evidence presented.

What principle makes the reasons relevant to the claim? 

  • But this is different

Ultimately, apps (even the Maps.app) on smartphones are “social media” and user acceptance is integral to one’s success. This argument uses a sort of appeal to the people by suggesting that because “entire websites” are dedicated to it (what is “it” referring to anyway? That the new maps suck or that it’s unanimous?) instead of saying, for example, “top scientists say that it is statistically worse…” consumers in social media apps prefer reviews and opinions from people similar to them.

See the first post that demonstrates a strong argument based on the same claim: Rhetorical Analysis of an Apple iPhone Maps app argument


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Filed under Article Reviews, Rhetoric, Social Media

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